Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE:CAG) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 8,600,000 shares, a growth of 19.6% from the August 15th total of 7,190,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,030,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.8 days.
A number of research analysts have commented on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Conagra Brands from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, August 3rd. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective on Conagra Brands from $36.00 to $38.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 1st. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Conagra Brands from $32.00 to $35.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 1st. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price objective on Conagra Brands from $36.00 to $39.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 1st. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $41.00 price target on shares of Conagra Brands in a report on Thursday, August 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $35.94.
In other news, EVP Colleen Batcheler sold 111,062 shares of Conagra Brands stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.00, for a total transaction of $3,998,232.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 280,935 shares in the company, valued at $10,113,660. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Joie A. Gregor sold 9,900 shares of Conagra Brands stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.61, for a total value of $352,539.00. Insiders have sold 283,807 shares of company stock worth $10,323,940 in the last quarter. 2.60% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Capital World Investors grew its stake in Conagra Brands by 28.3% during the 1st quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 38,056,615 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,116,581,000 after purchasing an additional 8,401,933 shares in the last quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. grew its position in Conagra Brands by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. now owns 4,272,244 shares of the company’s stock worth $150,255,000 after purchasing an additional 67,577 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in Conagra Brands by 2.1% in the 1st quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 3,666,615 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,623,000 after purchasing an additional 74,449 shares in the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its position in Conagra Brands by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 3,298,579 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,011,000 after purchasing an additional 53,889 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. grew its position in Conagra Brands by 12.6% in the 1st quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 2,874,395 shares of the company’s stock worth $84,335,000 after purchasing an additional 321,285 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.14% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Conagra Brands stock traded up $0.22 on Wednesday, hitting $34.79. 2,695,897 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,042,522. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $37.31 and its 200 day simple moving average is $33.67. The company has a current ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12. The company has a market cap of $16.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.23, a P/E/G ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 0.85. Conagra Brands has a 12-month low of $22.83 and a 12-month high of $39.34.
Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, June 30th. The company reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $3.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.13 billion. Conagra Brands had a net margin of 7.60% and a return on equity of 14.38%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 25.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.36 EPS. Analysts predict that Conagra Brands will post 2.39 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 3rd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 4th were issued a dividend of $0.2125 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 3rd. This represents a $0.85 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.44%. Conagra Brands’s dividend payout ratio is presently 37.28%.
About Conagra Brands
Conagra Brands, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food company in North America. The company operates through Grocery & Snacks, Refrigerated & Frozen, International, and Foodservice segments. The Grocery & Snacks segment primarily offers shelf stable food products in various retail channels in the United States.
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